Deep cave spelunking and a bonafide Maori family

Waitomo Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
A little quad biking in the hour between rain showers

I think I've waited too long before writing this memory. The story is reduced to soundbites, the moments to snapshots; the paint is dry and I can't remember the brushstrokes that went into it.

It was a moment's respite in the trip in a little one-bar town called Waitomo. The big draw was a cave you could explore.

I remember getting talked into going quad racing with the Aussie girls and Mike. I remember discovering that Mike might just very well have been the funniest guy I've met on the road (to this day still).

I remember the only bar in town, hanging out with the other travelers, a great jukebox, discovering that Stevie Wonder had funky songs (I know, right?). I went outside to smoke and somehow started talking to these Maoris who turned out to be an entire family, from grandma to grandson, spending their evening down at the only bar in town.

the gang and a random drunktarded kiwi with dreads
A kiwi as wide as a Lazyboy was sitting with them, an obvious family friend who was missing his front left tooth. Turned out he was a genuine rugby player on the All Blacks. Man, he was drunk too, but fortunately jovial and in high spirits. I remember thinking that someone might not survive a fight with him.


I remember the cave the next day. Wearing wetsuits and helmets that made us look like extras in a Devo video. Abseiling down into darkness, zip-lines into more darkness, rafting down an underground river, glow worms on the ceiling like constellations, climbing up an underground waterfall, water blasting me in the face, squeezing through the last claustrophobic passage on my stomach, finally to burst out into life and light again.

Oh, and we took a picture of all of us in our Devo outfits. Thank god its not digital :)

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
A little quad biking in the hour b…
A little quad biking in the hour …
the gang and a random drunktarded …
the gang and a random drunktarded…
Mike - i originally avoided him be…
Mike - i originally avoided him b…
The only bar in Waitomo
The only bar in Waitomo
Charles taking a leak on the wonde…
Charles taking a leak on the wond…
photo by: MadeleineGL